FUDiabetes

Sugarmate failed to call at night

Ok, not a good night for diabetes in my house :cold_sweat::sleeping: I really would just like to vent as well as ask for some help problem solving with sugarmate, tagging @ClaudnDaye because I think of you as our resident sugarmate expert. So my numbers last night:


Not pretty at all. I do believe my sensor was reading a little bit lower than I actually was, but still, not a good night. I had issues falling asleep last night and when I did fall asleep was pretty fast asleep. I slept through the regular dexcom and sugarmate alerts (as usual), some shown below to show that sugarmate was on and running:

My mom received I don’t know 5? 7? Texts last night from sugarmate telling her I’m below 45. So she came into my room and woke me up all of those times. I treated and went back to bed for each (as I usually do) and got more and more frustrated each time (as I’m entirely independent with my diabetes management and don’t want my mom hovering over me, don’t want my mom worrying, don’t want my mom not getting sleep.) I have sugarmate set up to call when I go below 60 at night, so usually if I’m going low at night I’ll catch it before I’ll go lower and my mom will get a text.
However, I didn’t get one phone call last night from sugarmate, and I’m just frustrated with it because I’d felt a lot more safe having had success with it in the past and that feeling got kind of turned upside down now. Also I’m like frustrated having to explain each time to my mom that if she’s getting a text saying I’m low it doesn’t always have to mean emergency because usually I’ve already treated it or I’m letting it “run low” since I’ve tested my blood sugar and am actually not low, followed with monitoring via finger sticks. And I get it she’ll probably worry no matter what I say, but it just makes me feel guilty and frustrated when she gets these alarms, especially for scenarios like this that I thought I was safeguarded for and could have prevented. I know I probably sound like a brat because she’s doing everything to help me and that was incredible last night and I know that she can’t just turn off worrying, but I don’t love the idea of someone else getting alerts on my blood sugar (and sugarmate not even calling me like I see who it likes better here!!) And I’m frustrated that I dont have my whereabouts with me when I wake up to lows and managing them better than treating and going back to sleep. I really do though when I get that jarring call from sugarmate though sigh and this is the end of my ted talk on why I wish I had a t-slim x2 that could successfully suspend my basal throughout the night

6 Likes

Ugh and now I see myself complaining about this amazing technology and feel guilty about that. Maybe it’s time I go back to guardian sensors for a bit, get some much-needed perspective :roll_eyes: (and then there I go complaining about other technology that I should be grateful for!)

I think it’s just a “complain about my diabetes” kind of day so probably best I sign off for the rest of the day :grimacing: but I would love opinions on sugarmate as well as handling the “follower” relationship… there must be a thread on that that I’ll go hunting for later

5 Likes

I completely understand feeling the loss of the safety net.

Nope. You don’t sound like a complainer to me.

I was just having this talk with someone yesterday. Our target is always moving on us. Well, at least mine is always moving on me. This is a marathon. Every day demands our attentiveness in one way or another. And you do that. And you use your tools and you rely on them. And when they don’t function as we’ve come to expect them to, that messes some things up.

After experiencing enough long term issues with sensor accuracy, site integrity, etc, etc, I still keep myself in a pretty basic nuts and bolts, manual approach to my management. The bells and whistles are awesome when they work. But when they don’t, I need to be in touch with my skill sets to make up the difference.

All of that is to say, I, too, have come to feel safer at night because of the Sugarmate phone calls. But I had a night a few weeks ago that I lost sensor signal all night and never woke up to that Dexcom alarm. I happened to be steady enough overnight that it turned out fine, but waking up and realizing how many “signal loss” screeches I had completely slept through was a bit jarring. Because obviously for me in that case, Sugarmate won’t be making any calls to me without data.

Totally understand being frustrated. Totally understand the loss of security in this moment. I can’t speak to the aspect about how this all works with another person following your alerts bc I don’t have that dynamic in play, but I can understand your concerns there. I wish I knew why Sugarmate didn’t call you last night. That is definitely something I’m curious about seeing what others posit. But I think enough of these types of experiences myself have led me to be in the camp of appreciating the technology but never fully relying on it.

2 Likes

Get used to it. My wife is the Dexcom follower, and after years and years of marriage she still tells me to go take my blood sugar and eat something when I have a compression low.

People who love you are like that.

4 Likes

@LarissaW, sorry this happened to you! Are you certain you received zero calls? You should check your call log to be sure. There are nights I’m so out of it that SM calls me and I click the hang-up button without even realizing it was a low call. I don’t think I’ve ever NOT gotten a call!

What I have done; however, which has caused lows, is not putting our settings back where they should be before bed. For instance, during the day we have his Normal Range set at 60 - 180, but during the night we move that low up to 100, so that we get calls when he’s at or just under 100 so that we can treat if necessary if he’s trending down. We do this so that he never actually goes low…waiting to get that call at 60 means he’ll typically already under 60. So, during nights where we’ve forgotten to put that number up to 100, he’s gone low and I’ve received calls late.

But if you genuinely didn’t get a call then I’m not sure what could have happened and I’m sorry to hear it! Most of the time the issue is ours, like I said we either had the numbers set incorrectly, had the phone on mute, or the volume was just too low to hear it.

Very sorry you had a bad night of lows. Maybe what you should tell your mom is this…IF you are getting texts over, say an hour, and they haven’t started coming up yet, give me a call. That way, she could serve as a fail-safe to the technology?

1 Like

Call logs show no sugarmate (missed nor received)


And even if I have my do not disturb on or my sound off, I have it set so that calls from sugarmate bypass:

I also haven’t changed my “sleep hours” or low boundary on my range. And I didn’t have any signal loss throughout the night while I was low as you can see all my data is on the sugarmate graph

So I’m just not really sure what happened :confused: I’ll try deleting the app and setting it up again and will let you know if I can get the calls to come through. I remember getting a disclaimer from sugarmate when originally setting it up that said the calls may not always go through but I’d come to expect them because they’ve been successful until now

2 Likes

Yeah, this sounds like a fluke to me and I hope it doesn’t happen again to you! :frowning: So sorry this happened - one of my worst fears also.

1 Like

When you first turn on Sugarmate calls it gives you a little warning message: “This is an experimental feature. Sugarmate can’t guarantee delivery of the phone call.”

I would take that to mean that they (and by “they” I mean Josh, the guy who made it) are aware that sometimes it doesn’t work 100% perfectly. It’s a free app made by a good samaritan who is doing his best with it, but it’s imperfect, so unfortunately I’m not sure if it’s something I would rely heavily on

5 Likes

So far it’s been 100% for us, but I do understand this app is as @glitzabetes pointed out and be very thankful for the 99.9% of the times is DOES work as intended! But again, I emphasize, you should ask your mom to certainly call you after X time has passed if you feel this could happen again in the future! As a parent, I would WANT my child to want me to do this for them!

4 Likes

Since the original post, I have re-established and tested the night phone calls for when I am lower than my low boundary. To do this, I turned off my Sugarmate “Below Normal Call” alerts, restarted my phone, turned on my “Below Normal Call” alerts (following the instructions, inputting my phone number), and then pressed the “test” option in the “alerts” tab. I indeed received a call when I was below my low threshold at night after following these steps :slight_smile: I’m thinking of incorporating this reset and test of my low night alarm once a week moving forward.

All of that being said, this thread got me thinking a lot about 1. how I reacted to that night of lows and my perception of a failed safety net and 2. the reliability of diabetic devices and technology to support. Both of which I’m going to talk about here below more so to sort out thoughts than to expect a conversation from this.

  1. I am embarrassed for my whininess and immaturity in pointing fingers in my original post. However, I think that my despair and frustration when I woke up was a feeling I’ve had many times across the years and is one that I feel others may understand. At the end of the day, there’s no one app or person to blame for too low or high of blood sugar. Sure, sugarmate could have alarmed, but that sure as hell would not have prevented me from going low for a long stretch of time (as you can see from my graph even when I was treating and treating, I was stuck low). And sure, I could have not gone back to sleep and waited for my blood sugar to have gone up. But that’s just kind of how diabetes management is - each day I’m sure we all can find instances of “well what if this.” But there’s bad nights with diabetes. There’s bad days with diabetes. Regardless of how well you stay on top of things or how well your supplies preforms. That’s just how this disease is. And waking up the other morning, tired and sore from those lows, facing the reality that I could have died the prior night, and feeling the weight of keeping family members from sleep, I just did not want to believe that even with my improvements with my care that I could still have this scary event happen overnight. I don’t really know what else I’m trying to get at besides I’m sorry for being frustrated and whiny and taking it here and complaining about things that I really am very grateful for, but I’m leaving the post up because I think those sentiments are something I’ve faced and no I’m not proud of them, but I am working on accepting that I’m doing everything I can and I’m using tools the best I can but that doesn’t mean my diabetes won’t have a mind of its own, and when it does, I can learn from the experience but don’t need to wallow in the victim role
  2. As far as reliability goes - a couple people brought up that sugarmate is something they wouldn’t rely on because of the imperfections in it, as noted by the app when turning on different call alarms. Up to this point, sugarmate has been incredible, always alerting and calling, and saving me from scary lows or some potential highs. And I feel so thankful to have it in my toolbox because it really has changed my management. Though I do know now that it can slip up. But IMO all diabetes devices and apps have the potential to mess up. So I just don’t really get where the line should be drawn on when to rely on different tools in one’s toolkit and when not to. (I would argue sugarmate for me has been more reliable than my infusion sets and than guardian sensors and than glucose meters). IMO it’s all personal on what to decide to use on a daily basis, but I guess I just shouldn’t have expectations of perfect performance out of any diabetes instruments. That seems kinda depressing but is just more pragmatic. I mean obviously we can do things to boost reliability out of our devices and supplies, but they all fail at some point. Just another layer as to why navigating the diabetes landscape is tricky. One day we can hope to have devices and tools that are 100% fail-proof ! But truly there’s been so much progress already in what we have that I’m super pumped about and thankful to have, and that just gets me excited to see what else is coming

IDK, crazy rant done and I can stop word vomiting on things ugh I’m sorry

7 Likes

I think all of your posts are fantastic and honest and thought provoking. I have never read anything you’ve written as whiny.

Sugarmate has helped me tremendously, as well, and not just the night alarms…although those are high on the list.

I’m glad to know you’ve found a way to get it functioning again. And that you’ve shared it here. That’s the sort of thing that I think makes FUD engaging.

4 Likes

You are loved.

3 Likes

Thank you, @T1Allison and @ClaudnDaye :grinning:

Also, sorry I totally missed replying above, but yes, my mom’s and my system that we’d agreed upon when she started following my data was that there’s a 15-minute buffer after she receives a text for me to correct it and get myself back into a normal range before she starts calling me or finding me if I’m home. That has seemed to work pretty well for the two of us to both be comfortable. Though I do wish I could be entirely independent and feel safe that way, I do know it’s best for her to be tagged in to help on ocassion

4 Likes

The unfortunate truth of diabetes if that this just isn’t possible “right now”. Maybe one day the tech will be able to make this possible but for now just accept that this is NOT a burden for those that love you. It’s a labor of :heart:

2 Likes

The heart of diabetes self-care: to observe and respond with self-compassion and not self-judgement—definitely a work in progress for many of us. :bouquet::pray:

7 Likes